UNHCR urges international help for Syrian refugees

Syrian children stand by in front of the rubble of a destroyed house in the northern Syrian town of Al-Bab. (AFP)
Updated 10 March 2017

UNHCR urges international help for Syrian refugees

RIYADH: The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has urged the international community to redouble its efforts to alleviate the suffering of millions of Syrians.
“Syria is at a crossroads. Unless drastic measures are taken to shore up peace and security for Syria, the situation will worsen,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.
In Syria, 13.5 million need humanitarian aid, 6.3 million are displaced internally, and hundreds of thousands have made perilous sea voyages seeking sanctuary.
Nearly 3 million Syrians under the age of 5 have grown up knowing nothing but conflict, and 4.9 million — the majority women and children — are refugees in neighboring states, placing host communities under social, economic and political strain.
But “ultimately, Syria’s conflict isn’t about numbers — it’s about people,” Grandi said. “Families have been torn apart, innocent civilians killed, houses destroyed, businesses and livelihoods shattered. It’s a collective failure.”
The UNHCR and its partners have been providing life-saving help to millions of Syrians. In 2016, more than 1 million received winter essentials to help keep people alive in sub-zero temperatures.
Last year, more than 4 million people in Syria received basic relief items such as food, medicine, bedding and utensils.
More than 2 million benefited from the UNHCR’s network of community centers in Syria, whose services include child protection, education and health.
Regionally, more than 3 million displaced Syrians and refugees received assistance to help survive a bitterly cold winter.
A conference in Brussels in early April will assess Syria’s future, including humanitarian funding requirements. The UN is requesting $8 billion this year to meet Syrians’ needs at home and in exile.
“We urge donors to maintain adequate, flexible funding to allow us to respond to the enormous needs,” Grandi said. “Funding won’t end the suffering. But it is one thing we can do as poverty and misery intensify. The resources currently available simply don’t come close to meeting all the challenges.”


Drones hit Aramco plant, Houthis claim responsibiltiy

Updated 17 August 2019

Drones hit Aramco plant, Houthis claim responsibiltiy

  • Houthis claim responsibility for the attack on the plant
  • The drones hit the plant, causing a small fire that was quickly extinguished

DUBAI: The Saudi energy minister Khalid Al-Falih has confirmed that a drone strike hit the Shaybah natural gas liquefaction facility causing a small fire on Saturday.

In a statement condemning the attack, Falih said there had been “no injuries” and that the fire had been put out after the several drones were fired at the plant.

“This cowardly attack once again highlights the importance of the international community's response to all terrorist agents who carry out such acts of sabotage, including the Iran backed Houthi militias,” Falih said in the statement.

The Houthis later claimed responsibility for the attack.

“Saudi Aramco’s response team controlled a limited fire this morning at the Shaybah NGL facility,” a statement released on the oil giant’s website read.

“There were no injuries and no interruptions to Saudi Aramco’s oil operations. We will provide further details as they become available.”

The Houthis have carried out a number of attacks on Saudi Arabia in recent weeks and months, targeting residential areas and airports.